'The Modern Girl's Guide to Sticky Situations,' by Jane Buckingham

Often, his decision not to introduce you to his family doesn't have much to do with you personally. He might find his family difficult or embarrassing and, in order to keep life simple, chooses to keep church separate from state. But if you've been dating for a significant amount of time, it's natural that you should expect to meet his family, if only to know that he takes you seriously. Tell him exactly why you want to meet them, assure him that you will be accepting of any quirks they may have, and explain that it's important to you to be part of every aspect of his life.

You've convinced your boyfriend that meeting your family could be dangerous for his health.

If you're the one keeping your kin under lock and key, you might want to consider why you're doing so. Is it just because your annoying aunt will start sending out wedding invitations if she catches sight of a man on your arm? Or are you ashamed of them? You should know that if you plan on sticking it out with this guy, he's going to have to accept your family as they are, weird food and all. Tell him about your fears, bite the bullet, and introduce them. It's likely that he won't even notice all the little quirks that seem so noticeable to you.

And who among us doesn't have a few strange family members? If you're ashamed of your boyfriend, you might want to reconsider the relationship. Why are you with someone you don't consider good enough to meet your parents? You can't change your family, but you can change your man.

You have a huge fight with your boyfriend's sibling or your boyfriend and your brother are acting like cavemen.

As they say on Arrested Development, family first. A with a brother or sister is everlasting, whether we like it or not. You have to make peace with your boyfriend's nutjob sister, if only for his benefit. If she is truly an awful person (as people's siblings sometimes are), try to keep your interactions with her limited to birthdays and holidays. If your boyfriend and your brother don't get along, have a chat with each of them individually. Ask them to play nice on your behalf and appeal to their masculine sense of honor. They'll be on grudgingly good terms by the next Sunday dinner.

Your mate loses his job.

The first thing to do is to be as calm and supportive as possible. He knows that he needs a job, that the market is tough, that you have bills to pay. Take some time to let him know that you love him for more than just his moneymaking potential. Use some of his free time to have more sex (it won't break the bank account, after all). And when he's ready, help him take all the necessary steps toward finding a job.

Your boyfriend and your boss have become chums.

Tell your man that work needs to be separate from your private life. You spend the majority of your life at work, and you don't want to come home at night to find your boss on the couch playing video games. Ask your boyfriend to keep his bromance limited to office events.

Your boyfriend feels entitled to comment on your body and what you should do to perfect it.

A resounding f -- -- you to this guy! If this isn't a question of health, just aesthetics, he's being a controlling prick. Tell him you need to feel that he accepts you as you are or you can't be with him.

Someone important to you doesn't support you the way you would like.

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